Sunday, April 5, 2009

Guinataang Baboy (Pork Stewed in Coconut Milk)

Now I've always been saying that Filipinos love their pork. One of the many ways we enjoy our pork is stewed in coconut milk. There is actually a province in the Philippines that specializes in everything cooked with coconut milk - the Bicol province. That province is also known for its fiery, hot chili-spiced dishes. Anyway, I digress. Here is a quick and easy recipe for Guinataaang Baboy or Pork Cubes Stewed in Coconut Milk.

"Guinataan" means cooked with coconut milk. It can be a savory dish like Guinataang baboy or Guinataang Isda (Fish Coconut Stew) or it can be a sweet dish like the common afternoon snack just simply called "Guinataan". The latter contains cubes of plantains, sweet potato, rice balls, slices of jackfruit, etc. So, keep that in mind whenever you come across the word - Guinataan.

Now, onto the recipe. You'll need:

1/2 kilo (or 1 pound) Pork cubes (preferably with some fat on some pieces)
3-4 cups of water
1 coconut, grated and then extracted (milk)++
1/2 onion, sliced
4-5 cloves of garlic, coarsly minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored and sliced into 1-inch squares
5-6 pieces of yard long beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
3-4 pieces of green chilis (the mild, sweet kind)***
Optional: cubes of carrot (which I added for a nice touch of color) and potatoes.

++Substitute a can of coconut milk or two pouches of powdered coconut milk mixed with 2 cups of water.
***If you like your stews fiery-hot, substitute habaneros or other hot chilis of your choice.

1. In a wok or deep pan, add the water and pork. Cook for about 30 to 45 minutes or until the pork has become tender.

2. Take out the pork stock and set it aside for other dishes. Take out the pork and set it aside. Put a little oil on the pan and heat it until hot.

3. Add the garlic and cook until it is golden brown. Add the onion slices and cook until they are translucent (about 2 minutes). Add the green beans, carrot and potato cubes too.

4. Add the cooked pork and saute until the pork edges turn brown. Add the coconut milk and turn down the heat to low. Add the green chilis (sliced if you like or cut in half) and bell pepper.

5. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the coconut milk turns thick and saucy.

Serve hot with freshly cooked rice. This also makes a perfect side dish to a fried fish meal like what I had for lunch today.